And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
- D&C 18:15
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Monday, August 22, 2016
Rain, and Missionaries
While my elementary school classmate is knocking home runs in New York, I am preaching the gospel in Round Rock. Texas was looking more like springtime Texas than it did August Texas recently. It rained every day this week, and we didn't get very much sunshine. Not that I'm complaining. Getting a break from the August heat is very much a blessing. It's the humidity that bites. I can deal with 105 degrees, that what I grew up with in Stockton, but that humidity get to any soul.
This week we had a great district activity. All of the missionaries nearby collected together and we did genealogy together. Learning about your family history is extremely important, especially if your religion believes in eternal families. I love that we as a church believe in performing proxy ordinances for those that have passed. It shows the importance of the acts. The greatest act of time, the Atonement, was a proxy action itself. Christ conquered sin and death, that we through him can conquer sin and death. The only way out of this life is through a proxy ordinance, it makes sense that those out of this life still need a proxy ordinance. There is so much to learn from Jesus Christ and his infinite atonement. It was a great sight to see missionaries searching through their family records and discovering their past, seeing what they can do to reserve names to take to the temple. I got to help many of them with how to attach sources, organize records, reserve temple ordinances, and read memories of their ancestors. Some of the greatest joys on earth can be found in our families. I know that there are family members that I have never met that I will be great friends with in the afterlife. There is so much good in getting to know your family, and serving them in any way possible.
On Friday I was able to trade companions for a day. I went on a companionship exchange with the Round Rock elders. Elder Yale went with Elder Boren, and I went with Elder A. What an outstanding missionary. He understands that the simple things get big things done. We don't have to over complicate, as entertaining as it is. Many times getting back to basics is the solution to many problems in sports, work, relationships, the gospel, and it works great in missionary work. We had an excellent day finding, teaching, and learning from one another. One of my favorite parts of being a missionary are the other missionaries. While scores and scores of people learn from us and the Savior's teachings, we as teachers learn from each other. We grow with each other. We become friends with each other. This is the Lord's work and glory, and we are thrusting in our sickles with might side by side. It's a great feeling.
Recently my mind has been pondering about a few scriptures. I'd like to share some of them and my thoughts about them. "O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments--then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea (1 Nephi 18:20, Isaiah 48:20)." "Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams (1 Samuel 15:22)." It interests me that my mind is drawn to these passages. They are both about obedience and they are both in the Old Testament. Both of them lament not the committing of sin, but the denial of obedience. To Isaiah and Samuel, we see that the glory of the lord is not in the trial or hardship that we put into obedience, but the need for his laws to be kept. I also enjoy the imagery in the first quote. Peace is like a reach. It flows, it is not still. It rushes and goes forth. Many times we see peacefulness as idleness, when Isaiah describes peace as momentous. The imagery in Samuel's reproof to Saul is strong as well. In this case, Samuel is using a physical substance in contrast to a mental response. "To hearken that the fat of rams." Self-mastery and humility are tools we have to fulfill the word of the lord. We perform his deeds in the order and desire he has given us, not what we think is best.
My mind is everywhere today. We had a wild week filled with ups and downs, but no matter what, I love being a missionary. I thank my God for this chance I have to work with him. Every experience is worth it.
1. Elder A and I on exchanges 2. Things that happen when it rains in Texas